Inside Tomorrow's Commercial Kitchen
Unfortunately, the makeup of a modern restaurant kitchen sometimes has less to do with the latest technology and more to do with high real-estate costs and government regulations. These factors are putting pressure on operators to create back-of-house areas that inhabit smaller footprints and are more environmentally conscious. At the same time, operators are looking to cut energy and labor costs.
Here’s a look at the innovations that are shaping kitchen equipment and design.
Digitally controlled walk-in coolers
Modern walk-in refrigerators are designed to have maximum storage capacity for the space they occupy. Mounted control pads monitor defrost, fan and temperature functions for improved energy efficiency. The most up-to-date units also manage lighting and send door-ajar and temperature alerts to smartphones.
Smaller, cooler warewashers
Dish machines used to generate a lot of steam and heat, making it necessary to place them in a separate dish room. New ventless, heat-recovery warewashers recycle the steam, heating incoming cold water—a feature that saves energy and keeps the kitchen cooler.
Cold prep stations
Refrigerated drawers slide out for easy access to perishables. Sink units can be dropped into work tables, and frost-top surfaces keep product cold and safe as it’s prepped.
Drop-in induction cooktops
Single or multiburner induction units can be installed in countertops to fit any layout. Induction cooking is designed to be energy-efficient, fast and consistent.
Cleaner, safer fryers
Electric fryers now come with self-contained recirculating exhaust hoods and built-in fire suppression so the fryer can be placed anywhere in the kitchen.
Medium-capacity broilers that fit onto a compact countertop space now combine radiant broiling and convection technology. This saves energy and operating costs and improves cooking precision.
Harder-working combi ovens
Multitasking combi ovens perform the functions of a convection oven, kettle, steamer, fryer, smoker and dehydrator, all in one unit.